Occasionally, very occasionally, I am in a situation wherein I am expected to eat food at a gathering. I usually eat before I attend any event. The hostess has usually been forewarned that a vegetarian is coming and has prepared something it is thought that I can eat. Lovely stuffed mushrooms, a salad, corn on the cob, sweet potato pie, collard greens and peas and rice are some of the things I have been offered. The food always looks scrumptious and the host is anxious to please.

I have to explain though that I am an “extreme vegetarian.” I compliment the mushrooms and rightly guess that it has parmesan under those perfectly toasted breadcrumbs. The salad has been bolstered with chunks of cheese. The corn on the cob has been buttered. The pie has butter or lard in the crust. The greens have been simmered with ham or a smoked turkey neck. And the peas and rice dish contains itty bitty chunks of beef or chicken.

“Well, surely you can have some eggnog?”
The dinner rolls…
Do they have milk in the batter?
Yes, how do you know?

At some point hubby or some other reveler is sent on a supermarket run. Alas the messenger returns with a winning package: one of those pre-packaged vegetable trays from the produce department teeming with raw carrots, celery, tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower and broccoli with a little container of dressing/dip in the center. You know that tray.

Guess what? The dressing isn’t usually vegan. It often contains egg, milk and cheese products.

So there I sit, expected to chow down on raw, cold veggies while fragrant and succulent food passes around me.

Good thing I ate before I came. I will drink the wine though. Hopefully it’s vegan.